The importance of leadership can’t be overstated. We all need guidance, direction, and a little help. What is the leadership gap? In this video, Bonnie Hagemann answers this question and provides strategies to help businesses of all sizes.
(upbeat music) - By this point, the uncertainty might be starting to get to you. Leadership may not be as open as they were about what's going on in the company. Or maybe you're starting to see issues, but nobody's stepping up to solve them. Hi, I'm Kelly Ruda with LinkedIn Learning. And joining us again, today is Bonnie Hagemann, she's a CEO, a C suite advisor and an author, and she's leading her company through these challenging times. Bonnie, welcome. - Thank you for having me, Kelly. - Absolutely. Now, when we talk about leadership, the value of leadership, I don't think it can be overstated at all. So we're talking about that gap. What exactly are we talking about? - A leadership gap is when there is a space where direction and clarity is needed, but no one is making it. We need someone to step in. And when you have that in an organization or in a department, you'll see that people start to flounder, they don't know what to do. And sometimes they go back into bad behaviors, it may be they corrected, but because there's no leadership, they start wondering back into those. - And can you give us an example of, either from your business or a client's business, an example of a gap that was seen and how that was filled? - Many organizations will have that major leadership gap. And then we'll bring in like, we'll change out a CEO, and bring in a new one, who's directive and can provide clarity. And the employees almost breathe a sigh of relief. They're so thankful for being able to understand that direction. So it doesn't just happen at the CEO level, but that's obviously the one that's most visible. - Right. So you said it's not necessarily the CEO level. So let's say that I'm an employee and I see that gap and I think, okay, I want to step into that gap. I want to fix it, but I don't know the right approach. What do you recommend? - If you have an idea about a direction to go and no one else is doing it, stop waiting for someone else to do it and step into that gap and just start doing. Start trying to figure out and rally the people around the direction. You know, it might feel like you're in a fog. But you can say, you know, make an educated guess and say I believe if we go this way, this is going to get us to where our destination or where we need to go, and so you've got people coming with you, and you'll find that your peers are glad someone stepped in. - And do you recommend that I just kind of power forward and go, this is what I think we should do? Or do you think you know, do I take that time to reflect, do I problem solve, do I get other people involved? - Well, just like visionary leadership in general, you certainly want to get people to follow along with you. However, sometimes you do just have to step in and say I have an idea, I think this will work. And I'll give you an example from a client that I have. So St. Luke's University and Health Care Network on the East Coast as soon as COVID-19 happened. And you know, they have over 14,000 employees. And they started having employees call in to the HR department from, you know, they were calling everybody trying to figure out, what do we do, what's the protocol? you know, all of those. And someone in the HR department and I don't even know who it was, it was an employee, it wasn't the top of the house at the department. So their idea was to start a HR Resource Center for their employees. And give them one number that they could call, one phone call, and then it would get them to where they needed to go. And so they stood that up for 14,000 employees in two days. And it is so successful, that I just did an interview with some of the team this week, and they want to keep that. So that's an example of someone saying, I have an idea on what to do, let's try this. - Yeah. Now that makes me think what if there's a leader who sees a gap of some sort and they personally can't step in. How do they encourage their employees or someone else to, take over and do that? Without an official position, let's say? - Sure. Leaders should be growing up other leaders. And one of the ways to do that is to say to your employees, like, look, you don't have to wait for someone else to do this. When you see an opportunity, we want you to bring all of your talent to the table. Step in and lead wherever you can. And it doesn't have to be positional leadership. In fact, influential leadership is maybe more important than positional leadership. We just need leaders to tell their employees, I empower you to step in and take control here. - And that's a big thing I think, particularly in this new normal, is really giving that power over to employees and allowing autonomy and helping people figure out what's the best step for them. Do you think that's part of what we should do now? - Yes, and I've been actually saying that we need to start empowering employees more for years. However, now we just must, we have to do it. And so what's happening is we have to trust them. And when we have leaders in place who can't trust their employees, or can't make sure they have the right people in the job, which is the other piece of that, then you have this hold back on being able to give them empowerment. But if you turn it around and say, I choose to give you all of the resources that you need to do the job. I choose to ensure that the vision, the strategy, and the values of the organization, and then support you in getting the job done that aligns in a way that aligns with that. So I'm choosing to pass that empowerment on to the employees. Then I think you will find you will get much more from your employees by doing it that way than by trying to maintain control. - Yeah. It sounds like that's an excellent guide for leaders. So Bonnie, thank you so much for being here today and for sharing all of that insight and wisdom with us. - Thank you for having me, Kelly. And thank you for joining us as we try to figure out this new normal together.
- Pivoting with limited resources
- Building your new vision
- Stepping into the leadership gap
- Supporting your employees through training
- Onboarding your employees virtually
- Onboarding virtually as an employee
- Managing flexibly with remote/hybrid teams
- Managing performance when workers are remote
- Fostering inclusion and belonging in the new normal
- Talking about race at work